IIPP meets with new Scottish National Investment Bank to discuss green missions
9 December 2019
UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose discusses updates with the Scottish National Investment Bank team
IIPP's Martha McPherson and Laurie Macfarlane with the Scottish National Investment Bank team
Martha McPherson, IIPP’s Head of Green Economy and Sustainable Growth, and Laurie Macfarlane, Head of Patient Finance, visited the directing team at the new Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), a groundbreaking mission-oriented public finance institution, which IIPP has been working closely with over the past two years.
The bank is currently developing its key missions, with a focus on the climate crisis and green economy. Scottish National Investment Bank Programme Director David Wilson welcomed the IIPP team over mince pies to discuss the bank’s approach to Scotland’s plans for net zero carbon by 2045; the Green New Deal recently proposed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in Scotland’s Programme for Government; and the country’s developing just transition approaches.
The IIPP team has been foundational in the creation of the SNIB. IIPP recommended that the bank be set up in the first instance; and then worked directly with the First Minister on a framework to guide the bank’s investments towards tackling key societal challenges, and promoting transformational change across Scotland’s economy (see our policy report for more information). We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the SNIB team as the bank launches over the coming year.
The meeting also acted as the ‘soft launch’ for our ‘PUFFIN’ project, an exciting collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC on transforming public sector financial institutions for a just, inclusive green transition. The project will work with central banks, state investment banks and green asset investors to promote a green, climate-friendly financial landscape. This is based on IIPP’s workstream of Directing Finance. Finance is not neutral: the sources and characteristics of finance provided are key in shaping investment outcomes. Public sector financial institutions like the SNIB can provide economic directionality towards the green transition, by taking a long-term, patient, mission-oriented approach which prioritises green investments and sets conditionalities around borrower activities to support an inclusive, fair, green economy, with public value at its heart.
Martha McPherson commented, "IIPP research shows that finance is not neutral, it requires a full economic reorientation in a sustainable direction. The kind of mission-oriented activity we need to develop a greener economy - from renewable energy to low carbon cities and towns - must be supported by appropriate finance at macro, meso and micro level, and climate-ready state investment banks like the Scottish National Investment Bank take on a vital role in the financing landscape."